DA: Police justified in shooting of Jonathan Rutkowski, armed man in Wernersville

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Published: Aug 02 2013 02:37:55 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 02 2013 06:22:21 PM EDT
Wernersville shooting scene

Police were justified in their shooting of an armed man in Berks County last weekend, Berks County District Attorney John Adams announced Friday.

Officers were called around 8 p.m. Saturday to the area of 24 East Washington Ave. for the report that Jonathan Rutkowski was walking with two guns in his pants.

"Mr. Rutkowski was wearing a black shirt, camouflage pants and was carrying a silver revolver and a blue semiautomatic pistol," Adams said.

The officers followed Rutkowski across Penn Avenue and onto South Church Road, near the train tracks, as they ordered him "countless times" to drop the guns, Adams said.

"Mr. Rutkowski turned, faced the officers while dropping to one knee and pointed both firearms at the officers," Adams said. "At this point, Mr. Rutkowski was given several more commands to drop the weapons and did not comply and officers opened fire on the subject, at which time he was struck."

Rutkowski then began to run west along the train tracks as he pointed both guns at the officers, who again opened fire, Adams said.

Rutkowski fell to the ground, telling the approaching officers that he could not move his arm, Adams said.

"As the officers began to approach the subject, Jonathan Rutkowski closed his hand around the revolver and raised his arm, pointing the firearm at them," Adams said. "This resulted in the officers discharging their weapons again."

Rutkowski, 20, died at the scene. The investigation revealed that Rutkowski, who had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, took the handguns from his father's closet and wrote a note that included, "to that end, I'm leaving today." Facebook posts by Rutkowski also indicated that he was saying goodbye to people prior to the incident, Adams said.

"The officers involved in this shooting... demonstrated great restraint in their actions that evening and their use of deadly force... were justified," Adams said.